John Huggins was born in New Haven, Connecticut where he attended Hopkins School, although ultimately left and graduated from James Hillhouse High School. He was briefly enlisted in the United States Navy before attending Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he met his wife Ericka Huggins. They moved together to Los Angeles and both became deeply involved in the Black Panther Party. They had one child Mai Huggins.
Huggins and fellow Party leader Bunchy Carter were gunned down by members of the black nationalist US Organization during a 1969 meeting at UCLA. An FBI memo dated November 29, 1968 described a letter that the Los Angeles FBI office intended to mail to the Black Panther Party office. This letter, which was made to appear as if it had come from the US Organization, described fictitious plans by US to ambush BPP members. The FBI memo stated that "It is hoped this counterintelligence measure will result in an 'US' and BPP vendetta."
- UCLA students memorialize 1969 Black Panther slayings - Los Angeles Times
- "Counterintelligence Program, Black Nationalist - Hate Groups, Racial Intelligence, Re Los Angeles letter to Bureau dated 9/25/68", Federal Bureau of Investigation memo, November 29, 1968. Archived at COINTEL.org, retrieved September 7, 2007.
- Children of the Revolutionary LA Weekly feature on the 1969 UCLA shootout that killed John Huggins and Bunchy Carter.
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